There's something you should know about me.
That something is that I'm a bit of a masochist. And as such, I've made the decision to run my second marathon.
<BIG NERVOUS SIGH>
But I'm also a philanthropic masochist with a relentless drive for spreading endometriosis awareness in the hopes that some day, it won't be the devastating disease that it is.
So as I train for this year's New York City Marathon, I'll be raising money for the Endometriosis Foundation of America. My goal is to raise AT LEAST $3,000 by the time I face
certain death race day November 4.
Yep, that's where you come in. I recently sent out a fundraising plea to juuuuust about everyone I know, or at least everyone I've ever e-mailed, the first in monthly pleas until game time. Since it outlines why I am running and raising money, I am going to republish it here!
If you would also like to be spammed with monthly updates/shoutouts/fun endo facts, DM me @crampedstyleblog, and I'll add you to the list. In the meantime, read on and DONATE early and often.
Friends! Loved ones! ...umm...acquaintances who have the misfortunate of being in my gmail autocomplete!
Hi! It's me, your favorite philanthropist.
Stop groaning, I'm here to bother you *only* once a month until I run the NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 4. Heh, heh, heh. That's right. Much to the dismay of my lovely physical therapist (hi Sam!), I have decided to run my second (and most likely final, ok Sam?) marathon in my college town of New York City.
And why am I telling you this? Because I wouldn't be running the race if I weren't also raising money for a good cause, the best cause, a cause that's near and dear to my heart and uterus -- the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
If you're unfamiliar with endometriosis (then you must have blocked me on Facebook), then allow me to give you a brief 101. Endo is a chronic disease in which tissue similar to a woman's uterine lining steadily grows outside of her uterus causing pain that increases steadily until it becomes debilitating. Endo tissue typically grows around the reproductive and digestive organs but has been located in patients as far from the uterus as the chest and brain. The BRAIN! And the more endo tissue there is, the fewer pain-free days a patient has per month. Here is a very scientific illustration:
It affects one in 10 women and girls, which means in addition to me, there is a very good chance you know other women who have it. Doctors do not understand the causes of it, and there is no known cure; in fact, right now the only way to diagnosis it is with abdominal surgery.
After two such surgeries, I can tell you that really sucks. What sucks even more is that most general gynecologists don't know a damn thing about it, throwing painkillers and birth control at patients; this only masks the symptoms and does not treat the causes. Worse, doctors tell their patients the pain is normal. The average endometriosis patient waits 10 years for an accurate diagnosis. I went to the ER before my GYN agreed to operate; she did not believe I had endo when I self-diagnosed (isn't editing medical texts the same as being a doctor tho?). Because like most doctors, she is not a trained expert in endo (there are only approximately 200 worldwide), the surgery did not improve my symptoms but instead made it worse. You can read more about my experience here, but please know, my experience is NOT singular; rather, it is very representative of what women with endo frequently face.
In summary, for endo and endo patients there is:
- Little to no solid research
- MANY myths and misconceptions, including those spread by doctors
- Very few doctors who know how to treat it
- No cure
- No known cause
- A future that very likely includes either horrible pain or multiple surgeries
But there is hope! And the first step in solving these problems is more research, more education, and more awareness. I am supporting the EFA, because it is their mission to "increase recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark research." More knowledge, less misdiagnoses, less mistreatment.
NOW! It's cliche but it's true -- every dollar counts. I know that with the way the world is right now, your charity pockets may be a little less full these days. But since we can't depend on the government to even stay open for more than a few months at a time, we definitely can't rely on them to worry their pretty little heads over uteruses that aren't baby-filled (p.s. endo is a major cause of infertility). Since we can't rely on those guys, endo patients are relying on us.
Here are some stats:
- If you donate $26.20, you'll be donating a dollar for every mile I run/trudge. Because math!
- If you donate $50, that covers the cost of educating one classroom (presumably not in states that equate sex ed with promiscuity, but you know what I mean).
- If you donate $100, you'll be paying for the EFA to send *accurate*, informative resources to FIVE healthcare clinics.
- If you donate $2,366, you'll help me take the lead on my team and beat someone named Rebecca who has already raised $2,365, and you KNOW I AM VERY COMPETITIVE AND WANT TO BE THE BEST FUNDRAISER (especially since I certainly will not be the fastest runner).
- If you donate $3,211, you will singlehandedly have let me beat my Chicago Marathon total of $3,210 that I raised for victims of domestic violence two years ago.
But seriously, if you donate even $1, I will be touched and forever grateful and will probably praise/embarrass you somehow on social media. And if you're short on cash right now, NO WORRIES. After three surgeries inside of two years, I get it. Just wait for the June e-mail to roll around. Or July. Or August, September, and October. Because you have until right before the race (though if you do it now, you *could* just start ignoring my monthly e-mails with a clear conscience, just saying...).
PLEASE donate here:
Please also feel free to pass this along to anyone else who you think may be into supporting 200 million women worldwide. And please stay tuned for more endo info, updates on my training, fun surprises, and cat pictures. Because you made it to the end, and the end is where you get cat pictures!